In Fancy of Ostade … “ So goes the Violinist ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (The Night.) / NOX. At the half opened yardgate the little violinist accompanied by an old man with gamba slung over his back. A young woman dreamily listening to the serenade at her window while two children are attentive followers. On the right small view of the partially cloud-covered moon above trees. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. El. Ridinger inv. et excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above. 16⅜ × 22 in (41.5 × 56 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, The Night

Thienemann + Schwarz 1200; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1987 ( “Rare”, 1885 ! ); Hamminger collection 1885 ( “Extremely rare sheet [ 1895 ! ] … with small margin … Slightly cracked.” ).

Not in Weigel (1838/57) , Coppenrath (1889/90) , Reich auf Biehla (1894) + Helbing (1900) . – Watermark H G L. – Final sheet of the first set of the four times of day in genre scenes. – With quatrain in German-Latin parallel text:

“ So the violinist goes rambling at dark night
And serenades at quiet sleeping hour,
The old man goes with him that it shall thrive well,
And who shall doubt it? he has the face to it. ”

As all Ridinger mezzotints extremely rare. The complete set is provable only in the collection of Counts Faber-Castell dissolved in 1958. Sheet 1 alone figured in 1912 with the attribute “Very rare” in the 2468-lot sale of a “Large print collection mostly from the possession of an old Leipsic book shop”, then in 1980 once here. Of the other sheets of the suite – thus the one here, too – nothing of that sort is known. According to Thienemann the plates did not exist anymore in 1856. Who otherwise noted generally in regard of the rareness of the mezzotints:

“ The mezzotints are almost not available on the market anymore. By the way all mezzotints worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger are that rare that they are to be found almost only in some of the magnificent public print rooms. I met most of the described ones only in the famous Cabinet in Dresden …”

With surrounding paper margin of 10-13 mm. On the right a 4,5 cm long trace of scraping carefully retouched, a missing spot of about the size of a pinhead in the brickwork below the window blackened. The utterly smoothed centerfold doubled with thin paper. Otherwise of

beautiful velvety blackness and fine chiaroscuro

as always being especially remarkable with the mezzotints generally allowing only smallest editions of about “50 or 60 (sic!) clean copies, afterwards (the image) grinds itself off very soon as it does not go deep into the copper”, Sandrart 1675 ) and in the nightly scene here mediating the whole charm of the mild summer night. While the borrowing from Adriaen van Ostade – cf. Schnackenberg 225 (Bernt V [1980], 457) + 226/27 – imparts by this

quite intimate , lovely leaf

a quite different Ridinger — the Ridinger of the Netherlandish

in the sense of the early Augsburg years when he also copied Old Masters (Gerson, Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, 2nd ed., p. 328). A picture

in front of which you will pause again and again .

Offer no. 28,936 | EUR 1980. | export price EUR 1881. (c. US$ 2274.) + shipping

“ I received the (Ridinger) prints yesterday in perfect shape due to your careful and thorough packaging. They are spectacular … I believe I can safety say you are Honorable and Trustworthy … You will always have me as a Devoted customer. Regards. And God Bless. ”

(Mr. L. A. F., July 1, 2004)


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